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House Panel Approves Offshore Wind Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A House committee has approved a measure to develop offshore wind in Maryland.

The House Economic Matters committee voted Monday 13-6 to send the bill to the House of Delegates.

The measure has scaled back the ratepayer exposure from an average of about $2 per month to $1.50 a month.

The bill, which is being backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley, aims to incentivize construction of ocean-based wind turbines about 10 miles off the coast of Ocean City.

Last year, a bill that would have required utilities to enter long-term wind power contracts failed due to concerns about the costs to customers. This time, the measure is similar to a New Jersey law that sets requirements, but doesn't require long-term contracts.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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